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Unfortunately, sometimes things do go wrong, and it is important to acknowledge this and where appropriate seek redress.

‘Harassment’ is any kind of unwelcome or inappropriate physical or verbal interaction, however fleeting it may appear. It can be distressing to the victim, who may react with feelings of guilt and self-blame. If you feel you have been harassed, please do not suffer in silence.

‘Discrimination’ occurs when an individual or group is denied an opportunity on the grounds of gender, race, sexuality or religion (or lack of it), or because of particular circumstances (family or caring responsibilities). It can be direct (e.g. if a decision is taken on the explicit grounds that a member of one social group is to be preferred) or it can be indirect (i.e. if a decision taken for one reason has the additional and perhaps unintended consequence of discriminating: an example might be when an important meeting is scheduled at a time when those with families are unlikely to be able to attend).

Harassment and direct discrimination are always wrong and we would encourage you to report all instances. Indirect discrimination is by definition more nebulous, and may be justifiable in certain circumstances. For example, it may be that there is a good reason to schedule certain events such as open days for potential undergraduates at times that are inconvenient for those with families or on religious holy days. Nevertheless, indirect discrimination should ideally be avoided. It is always worth letting someone in the Faculty know if you perceive it (see the following paragraph), and it may be appropriate to report it.

 

Advice and Reporting

If you have experienced harassment or discrimination, you can get advice on how to report it and/or get support here:

https://reportandsupport.cam.ac.uk.

For further resources on harassment and sexual misconduct see:

https://www.breakingthesilence.cam.ac.uk.

The Faculty's Equality Officers are Dr Rosanna Omitowoju (rso20) (MT), and Prof. Tim Whitmarsh (LT & ET). They are available to talk through, in complete confidence, any equalities-related issues you would like to discuss; please do not hesitate to contact them if you would like to meet with them. We would also remind everyone in the Faculty that there are several other possible places to seek advice: (a) your line manager or the Chair of the Faculty (if you are a member of assistant staff) or (b) your Director of Studies, a college tutor or the Faculty's Director of Undergraduate Studies if you are an undergraduate student or (c) your supervisor, a college tutor or the Faculty's Director of Postgraduate Studies if you are a graduate student or (d) your mentor, appraiser, Chair of caucus or Chair of the Faculty if you are a member of the academic staff. The Faculty Administrative Officer () is always happy to offer advice about where best issues should be raised.

 

Further support

The Student Advice Service offer free, confidential, and impartial advice and support to all Cambridge University students

The University Sexual Assault and Harassment Advisor offers emotional and practical support to anyone who has been raped, sexually assaulted, or harassed, recently or in the past

The Loud and Clear guide (formatted / plain-text) for victims of sexual assault and harassment also has a lot of information

This page from Race Equality at Cambridge has advice for victims of racial harassment on supporting and reporting. There is also the BME mental health guide, which has more information on support resources.

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